It's hard being the new girl, and Ruuko Kominato knows this better than anyone. She has yet to make any new friends after moving to a new town. Her brother sees her struggling and gives her a deck for the popular trading card game WIXOSS, hoping that it would help Ruuko connect with other people and forge new friendships.
In Selector Infected WIXOSS, each WIXOSS deck comes equipped with a LRIG card, which serves as a player's avatar during matches. It all seems pretty straightforward…except for one thing. The girl drawn on Ruuko's card moves and talks! Is that normal? She soon finds out when a fellow student at her school approaches her and challenges her to a WIXOSS battle. Over the course of their match, Ruuko learns a few things. First of all, she is a Selector, a special girl who is gifted with a living LRIG. Secondly, Selectors have the opportunity to make a wish come true. But, finally, if they lose three matches, they forfeit their chance to realize a wish and instead become cursed. Ruuko's fight for her heart's desire begins now!
If you were in a competition in where you won, your wish would be granted, would you compete? Knowing that there are other people who may have a more important or dire wish? Is your wish more important than others? Is it less important?
Do you even have a wish?
Before going into this review, you will need to know what a Selector is. In this series, there is a popular card game called WIXOSS. Among the players, there are Selectors, people who are able to communicate with their LRIG, or the avatar of their deck. The point of this partner ship is for the LRIG to help the Selector become an Eternal Girl and have their dream, their desire or their wish fulfilled.
Wishes and desire and the dark undertone that comes with those two are used quite a lot in story telling. This story is fairly predictable when it comes to the concept of despair and wishes. Though, if you haven't expirenced much with this common story device, you will be in for a treat, as most people who see the dark side and consequences of wishes tend to enjoy the story.
Out story follows Ruuko, a standard character when it comes to these types of wish stories. She is a character is couldn't be separated from the crowd prior to being a Selector. By becoming a Selector and playing WIXOSS, she makes friends, she makes foes and she learns more about herself.
On a side note, do you need to know the rules of WIXOSS before watching?
NOPE. Not at all. The anime's main focus when it comes to card battles are the emotion of the Selectors and the ending result, who wins or who loses. The only concept you need to understand is that a deck is made to power up their LRIG.
Also keep in mind that this story isn't to surprising to those who have gone through stories related to the dark undertone of wishes. It's very predictable and isn't too unique compared to other stories with a similar premise. If you have not gone through a story that involved wishes and darkness, you will be in for a treat as WIXOSS is a great introduction to these types of stories.
Art outside of battles is quite bland, with a lot of use of pale colors and grey. All the backgrounds, all the foregrounds, use this type of bland coloring. Is this bad? Not entirely, as it gives a feel of emptiness, which does help deliver the dark undertone this anime has. Was it required? I feel like this coloring was a bit over done.
Art inside of battles were beautiful colors that faded into a never-ending darkness. I could be a literature teacher about this and pull meaning out of nothingness, but I rather not. I still enjoyed the art of the battles.
Animation was great during battles, standard outside of them. Hand to hand combat and the magical attacks that happened during battle all looked beautiful.
Character designs were pretty standard, though the designs for LRIGs were amazing. Loved how they would look when they would power up.
What an amazing OP, killy killy JOKER is one of my more favorite OPs of this season and one of my favorites of all time. With an amazing chorus, it is hard not to get your head in the rhythm of the song, which is very similar to our main character, Ruuko. She does the same thing during battles, and gets caught up in the hype of them. The ED, realize -Yume no Matsu Basho-, is another beautiful piece that compliments the OP really well.
Well.. again, outside of the battles, the soundtrack wasn't all too impressive. It may have added to the feeling of emptiness, but again, it wasn't all that needed. Songs used during the battles were all great! Songs included DnB and dubstep, that all helped give the battles intensity without the songs being too absurd.
As I have said before, Ruuko is a very clean slate character, you will see her character develop as she meets other Selectors, as she wins battles, as she begins thinking of the questions I asked you at the beginning of this review. She is quite the enjoyable character to watch.
A great point in this anime is the relationship between our Selectors: Yuzuki, Akira, Hitoe and Iona. Some are friends, some are foes, all have a wish they want granted. These include some intense moments when we have our more important side characters battling each other knowing that their wishes are on the line.
The only problem with this are the super side characters.... the nameless ones. They are all terrible people with a terrible attitude and personality. These are mainly nameless classmates whose only goal in the series is to cause tension and drama. Sure it was enjoyable to see our main characters go through it, but the way they did it felt super forced.
Keep in mind, I was coming into this series expecting it to be about cute girls and card games. Boy was I surprised! I was looking forward to some dark anime series during the spring season, Gokukoku no Brynhildr, Black Bullet and Akuma no Riddle. WIXOSS blew all those series out of the water and another surprise series did the same thing this season. I never expected this series to get dark.
I love love love how they handle card battles. The no information needed to watch this show is amazing and I feel they handled that expertly!
Suspense and intensity.
The amount of suspense, the suspense in decision making, the suspense is revealing information, the suspense of wanting to know more, all of these add intensity to the series that keeps the viewer interested and wanting more.
With a great ending that is an excellent follow up to a season two, the plot twists, the cute girls. This was a surprise series that was an amazing to watch show.
Some food for thought... what is girl backwards? read more
Not many people know what to make of the Selector WIXOSS series. “Eh… it was okay I guess?” seems to be the reaction of most people, and I think that can be largely attributed to the fact that it’s so radically different from anything else in its genre; we’ve never seen anything quite like it. Anime fans simply aren’t sure how to feel about a show centered around a card game that never even explains the rules of its own card game. While most anime in the card genre are about making every conceivable reward obtainable by means of said children’s card game (i.e. Yu-Gi-Oh), WIXOSS is about precisely the opposite: The ramifications of said card game. This show isn’t about the glory and fame brought to those who win the game, it’s about the pain and sorrow that the game brings to those who play it. WIXOSS takes the Gurren Lagaan-esque “Do the impossible!” attitude that you’d normally see in this type of show and flips it entirely on its head, and that’s what I love about it. Presenting the most overlooked anime of 2014: The Selector WIXOSS series
Synopsis: WIXOSS is a card game that's popular with teenagers; teenage girls especially. However, the seemingly innocent card game has a secret. There exist cards called “LRIGs”; cards that have actual people with wills of their own trapped inside them. Only “special” girls called Selectors can hear the voices of the LRIGs, allowing them to do battle in a dimension that other humans cannot access. It's said that whomever triumphs in these battles will have their greatest wish granted. Our story follows Ruko Kominato, the latest girl to find an LRIG. She names her card “Tama”, and without any further explanation, is thrown into her new life as a Selector.
In case I haven’t already made it obvious, WIXOSS is NOT an average entry into the card game genre. In fact, it can justifiably be called a deconstruction of its genre. It has a considerable amount of depth to it and discussing its themes without spoilers could be tricky, but I’ll give it a shot. WIXOSS questions the very basis of achieving all of your wildest dreams by means of a higher power; it essentially examines the very basis of reaching all of your goals without directly facing the challenges that come along with those goals. Nearly every girl in the WIXOSS universe has a wish; a wish that they are convinced is impossible for them to realize without the limitless power of being a Selector. However, as is heavily foreshadowed, the deal isn’t as sweet as it’s made out to be. As the girl’s grow more and more miserable, they realize that this means of obtaining their desires goes against the very nature of accomplishment. Some of them discover that they didn’t want what they thought they wanted, some of them discover that what they wanted was within their reach the entire time, and others discover that they are happy with what already have after all. They don’t find happiness and contentment because someone came along and waved magic wand; they find it through their own thought processes and experiences. This is just one of many of the masterfully executed themes in the WIXOSS series, all of which are evenly paced for the most part, expertly foreshadowed, and beautifully executed. WIXOSS not only manages to have deep and meaningful themes, but it manages to be entertaining at the same time. There are some seriously exciting and heart-throbbing moments that will “Wow” you. That is no easy task, and it’s perhaps the main reason I consider this show to be so underrated. All in all, this anime had a spectacular story despite the fact that it could have elaborated on certain plot points a bit more and given a bit more closure towards the end.
The characters, in my opinion, are just as well written as the plot. While Ru, our protagonist, may be a bit bland, the rest of the cast is fleshed out, packed with personality, and legitimately complex. This is an extremely impressive feat given the sheer number of major characters that WIXOSS attempts to work with. From the humans to the LRIGs, nearly every single character is given proper motivations and a distinguishable personality. I’ve never seen a show that’s been able to do this with such a large cast and have it actually work until I watched WIXOSS. You WILL find at least one to grow attached too and you WILL become emotionally invested in the show as a result. The best part of this cast is that there are no clearly defined lines between good characters and evil characters (well, except for one character…). Even the most seemingly cruel Selectors/LRIGs are sympathizable and have logical motives that back their actions up. My personal favorite character was Tama. Not only was she inhumanly adorable, she actually managed to have a complex personality and her actions carried massive thematic weight. I was literally cheering at my computer screen for Tama to prevail in times of peril. She is without a doubt an incredibly likable character. However, like I said, there are many more great characters to choose from.
I’ll briefly touch on the fantastic soundtrack and the masterful use of animation before closing out: Starting with the OST, it never fails to get the job done. Its unique blend of new-age and orchestral tracks never fail to set the appropriate tone. Whether it be enhancing a saddening scene or pumping up an exciting scene, WIXOSS’s OST covers the entire emotional spectrum. Add on the two incredible OPs and you have yourself an awesome soundtrack. However, the real highlight of this anime’s presentation lies in the genius animation. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a confirmed sighting of VISUAL STORYTELLING! I know, shocking for a modern anime, but it’s true. WIXOSS blew me away with some seriously genius symbolism, with the contrasts between light and dark being a central theme. Not only does WIXOSS accomplish the difficult task of conveying meaning without words, it can also be breathtakingly beautiful at times. Some of the imagination and planning put into a couple of these settings is absolutely remarkable. This is seriously some noteworthy animation, even if it isn’t getting any attention.
In conclusion, the Selector WIXOSS series is criminally underrated. Why seemingly nobody else can see how masterfully this show executed its main themes and ideas is beyond me, but I’ll tell you one thing: this anime is a must-watch for psychological fans. WIXOSS may not be perfect, but it will keep you on the edge of your seat, it will make you think, and it will dazzle you with its presentation. Honestly, what more do you want? Go watch it!read more
A card game about granting wishes. That’s what Selector Infected WIXOSS is anyways. And judging by the cover, there isn’t anything that seems too peculiar. That is until when the game actually begins. It’s not a normal card game especially when there’s a strange little girl who wants to battle and grant wishes for its owner. So now, it’s a game about fighting to grant wishes through battles. This however turns into a nightmare for the girls learns what’s at stake – an abominable and endless mind struggle against all odds.
Short for the term (Wish-Cross), the game itself consists of card games and battles. It might seem strange to see girls getting taking interest in a game that would be in a guy’s territory but nonetheless, the major of the shows’ cast are female characters. One particular character named Ruuko sticks out as an anti-social yet friendly girl living together with her grandma in a seemingly normal family. It’s fate that one day tied her to enter the world of WIXOSS, after discovering a magical girl that she nicknamed “Tama”. And if you get tired of hearing the word ‘battle’ now, then brace yourself for what the show has to offer soon. Or rather already, the beginning unveils its darker image such as Ruuko’s malevolent dreams. In that dream, it’s clear to know what the show is trying to do – to pull out a dark show with a game with kids. But looking it from a different angle, the show also has a purpose. The games aren’t just played for bragging rights but for granting wishes. It’s from these wishes where the show emerges and mutates itself into a twisted journey, one that shatters the boundaries of the card game image. But is it worth it? In some ways, but also not mind shattering as it sounds.
It’s obvious to see what director Takuya Sato is trying to do here. Similar to how Steins;Gate was directed, the show moves slow with the first few episodes introducing the premise and main characters. In fact, we find out the main characters are known as “Selectors”, who battles to fulfill their wish. What we don’t know is what the true purpose of these wishes are and what’s at stake until later. To say the least, a journey into this show requires patience. Even for a one cour-split (the second half to debut later), it requires explanation. And by that, the show pulls out its classy mechanics by showing rather than telling. Here’s where a technical problem comes in. While the game matches looks flashy and aberrant, they lack interest values when it comes to gameplay. Hardly anything is actually explained by the card battles itself. Whether it’s the battle moves, strategies, or rules, the series focuses much more on its psychological psyche. In other words, the show’s aim is to let the audience know more about the characters rather than the game itself. When you see a battle, more times or not, it’s more likely you will be paying more attention to the characters rather than the game itself. Although that works out somewhat, the mechanics and focus on the game is lost with incoherent explanations, ones that can be easily forgotten simply because it lacks interest.
At least the interest should come to the main characters right? Well, not exactly if we take a closer look. The fighters known as the LRIG(girl spelt backwards) are mostly mindless and serves little purpose than doing battle for their Selectors. Of course, none of them receive any character development or emphasis besides their highlight reels during gameplay. But for the characters, they aren’t far better when it comes to characterization. We already have the shy girl with Ruuko and really, there’s nothing distinctive about her. On the other hand though, there’s Ruuko’s friend Yuzuki who has the social personality, looks, and empowerment to make friends easily. But what you don’t know is her secret, or rather her wish that can be viewed as ‘forbidden’. And because the show has its psychological shenanigans, the story actually focuses on her progress with some rather disturbing results. It doesn’t stop there though as we also meet the two-faced girl, Akira Aoi with a sadistic ambition. In the same line of work is also Iona, a girl with a lust for battle but unlike Akira, she is usually calm and confident in her skills. On the other hand, there’s Hitoe Uemura, a girl who just wants to make friends. Together, they make up the main composition of the series’ cast, or rather Selectors. But what’s to like about them? Almost nothing. There’s almost nothing relatable we can find about them besides perhaps Ruuko. It’s almost also impossible to like any of the characters as they are not role models. Whether these are Ruuko’s anti-social behavior, Yuzuki’s repugnant wish, or Akira’s sadism, none of them really can be called role models. As the show progresses, we also witness their progress, not character wise but by the effects that the game has on them. And trust me, it’s not pretty.
Another niche about the show involves the collectible game itself. Besides the LRIG, none of the other cards are memorable or has any purpose. They are easily forgettable and when used during gameplay is hardly understandable. Ironically enough, the show attracts more female players than guys despite the dark nature. But most importantly is the concept of the game and its consequences. For behind the scenes, the consequences are disastrous for the losers. The show desperately tries to appeal to these consequences in order to draw out the reality of it. As gimmicky as it can be, the show does appeal to its darker image when certain Selectors’ minds are broken psychologically from the inside out. It can be easily relatable to shows like Madoka when girls are offered choices to play out their decisions. Otherwise, the show deals with other basis of human nature and themes including jealousy, identity, regret, social alienation, and forbidden laws of attraction. Needless to say, the show is a deconstruction of magical card game. The game itself serves as a deciding factor to settle out issues because character drama seems to be the cookie cutter.
J.C. Staff plays the role of crafting this show’s artistic image. There’s an oddball here when it pertains to cute girls playing the roles of Selectors in such a dark and twisted game. The LRIG has some interesting card designs with magical girl themes. Unfortunately, the game mechanics, even when crafted visually wise is underwhelming. The battle themselves are also mediocre and can even feel exasperating because most of the time, the characters doesn’t even seem to enjoy playing the game. Action speaks louder than words is usually what people would say. But here in this show, it’s what the character expressions that vividly paints their lack of interest and even fear what would happen should they lose. Also, who can forget about those insanely portrayed face expressions that Akira brings to the show that goes completely against what she really is, a fashion model?
Soundtrack is perhaps one of the stronger factors for this show. In order for it to work, it needed to engineer the phases between emotional, climatic, and thought provoking scenarios. Surprisingly, it does work most of the time. The eerie-like soundtrack conveys the darker side of the show effectively when utilized. And to further accompany this is the character voices that clearly reflects their despair and hopelessness in certain episodes. In particular, Hitoe’s voice is very credible when it comes to her shy nature and despair. The OP & ED songs also has influence when it comes to show that the show is not a happy game about kids playing cards to kill time.
Dark and edgy, I suppose there are more words to describe what this show really is. But for a show based off a card game, it hardly even touches on its mechanics. Throughout the series, it’s not surprising when you find yourself how exactly the game is played besides the most general rules. Take this more as a type of dark drama that is supposed to be character driven with Madoka-esque vibes. Of course, there’s no Kyuubey but rather LRIG, those cute girls with a taste for battle. I wouldn’t say the show is an abomination to card game ethnics. There’s memorable moments, some battles that can be almost fun to watch, and an appealing soundtrack. Rather, it’s a deconstruction for what is has offered – a labyrinth of character drama and journey on the line of mind games.read more
This season was not really full of surprises. Just as always some light novel adaptions here and manga adaptions there. What I really missed when overlooking the chart of currently airing anime was something fresh which sounded interesting. Of course being a show about a card game, Selector Infected Wixoss did not catch my attention at first at all. Only when I realized that this season isn't close to being good and I even started watching a sports anime about ping pong I thought to myself "Hey, why not check out this anime with the cute girls playing cards?".
I can tell you beforehand, missing out on this show is not what you should!
The main plot focuses around our shy and modest girl Ruuko, mostly adressed as "Ru-Chan" and her classmates Yuzuki who get into the new title-giving card game Wixoss. But as one could think this game is not a normal card game as it nominates certain girls to become a so called Selector. These girls receive special cards called LRIGs which are inhabitated by moving and seemingly living fantasy-like girls and young women. These LRIGs can talk and have the possibility to grant the Selector to become an Eternal Girl and have their deepest wish fulfilled - if they win a certain number of games. If you lose three times though you lose your chance ot ever become an Eternal Girl.
Of course these facts have every Selector curious on whom to trust and whom to battle. Do they want to take others wishes in order to have their own fulfilled? This aspect is treated very well by the show and isn't downplayed in a comedic way at all. The show is dead serious about what it presents and portrays the girls struggles with themselves and others very well.
Those characters may come off as a little generic and some similarities with Madoka Magica are inevitable to recognize and to acknowledge but this doesn't make the interpersonal interactions less tense. They actually seem more relatable and easier to understand. Later on the focus on the psychological aspects come to light more and more as the show reveals its more darker side one might not have expected at first but which I kind of predicted after the immense praise this show received as it aired.
In terms of audio-visual design Selector Infected Wixoss left a huge impression on me. The character designs are not the most original but they look different from each other for the most part instead of suffering from the common same-face-syndrome which seems to be an ongoing thing in the modern anime industry. The backgrounds also have a certain touch and the downtown setting creates a certain atmosphere which I personally enjoy a lot. Selector Infected Wixoss trumps especially with its soundtrack.
Creating an almost unique and eerie feeling even when sometimes just consisting of simple tunes. For a card game show the atmosphere is amazingly intense and something I did not expect when going into the show. A special shouout also deserve the voice actresses which delivered a more than solid performance.
Overall Selector Infected Wixoss was a good start to what could become a great franchise. As of now it left lots of questions unanswered which I expect to change with the arrival of the second season called "Selector Spread Wixoss" coming this fall. The first season though opened a door to countless possibilites to go for. I hope the creators realize the potential which slumbers in this show and come off which a proper conclusion in the end which won't just be a reset ending for example. The characters have developed very well this far and I am excited for what is yet to come.read more
Nothing screams "anime" like a good old fashioned card battle. Two passionate characters build up their decks and fight it out for all the glory. Today, we'll take a look at the shows that truly represent anime card battles in their own unique way.
In real life, WIXOSS is a popular card game among teenagers. In the Selector Infected WIXOSS anime series, it can also be a fun game, but for a "selected" few, it's a thrilling battle filled with action, friendship, drama, and mystery. Let’s dive into the world of Selectors and their LRIG Cards.